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New Neon Demon Trailer Promises Danger, Madness, And Nonstop Creepiness

When the Cannes Film Festival announced that Nicholas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon would screen in competition, a trailer hinted at what we should expect. With the film’s Cannes debut just 10 days away, a second trailer has arrived, revealing more about the elaborate fashion world conspiracy against Elle Fanning’s Jesse. You might detect some vague echoes of Black Swan and Refn’s divisive Only God Forgives, but The Neon Demon is still cloaked in mystery.

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While the film’s Cannes press kit keeps the plot relatively vague (“When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will use any means necessary to get what she has”), it gives Refn a chance to elaborate on his intentions. Setting out to “make a horror film without the horror,” he was inspired by a question that is likely to intrigue fans of the genre: “Was there a way to hit all of the basic genre beats, but not necessarily in the right order?”

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In the press kit, Refn also cites some non-horror influences (Valley of the Dolls, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls), elaborates on his reasons for casting Fanning, and breaks down the film’s main thematic preoccupation. “For a number of years, I’ve had this interest in making a film about beauty, because, in my life, I’m surrounded by it, and I see a lot of female empowerment with beauty,” he said, referencing the advertisements he has directed for Gucci, YXL, H&M, and Hennessey. “The currency of beauty continues to rise and never falls. And, as we evolve the lifespan of beauty becomes more limited, while our obsession with it becomes more and more extreme. This obsession can often lead to a unique kind of madness.”

The Neon Demon arrives in theatres June 24. Watch the new trailer below—before it goes out of style.

And here’s the latest poster.

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